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5 Things to Know About Dental Deep Cleaning
The term "dental deep cleaning" may not be thought of as a dental procedure. However, a dental deep cleaning is more than regular cleaning of the oral cavity. It is typically known as scaling and root planing. It is done when tartar (hardened plaque) have accumulated below the gum line, creating pockets that turn into a breeding site for bacteria. Continue reading to discover some important facts about dental deep cleanings.
What a dental deep cleaning is
A dental deep cleaning means that tartar has accumulated below the gum line and has created gum pockets that serve as a breeding site for bacteria. The condition is known as periodontal disease, and the tartar and bacteria need to be eliminated to initiate the healing process. Upon a successful dental deep cleaning, the gums will start to reattach to the teeth and reduce inflammation and risk of tooth loss.
Why it is called deep cleaning?
The dental term for deep cleaning is scaling and root planing. However, the simple term is deep cleaning because the treatment is to remove deposits below the gums. The entire purpose of the treatment is to reach beneath the gum surfaces, into the pockets that develop between the teeth and gum, clean the unwanted deposits and encourage gum reattachment.
When a dental deep cleaning is necessary
Since the signs of gum disease are not always immediately apparent, it may be difficult to tell when deep cleaning is necessary. Usually, the recommendation comes from the dentist. However, some signs may indicate the need for the procedure, including:
- Bleeding gums
- Gum recession
- Gum inflammation
- Tender or swollen gums
- Persistent bad breath or foul taste
Other pointers that indicate a need for a dental deep cleaning may be loose teeth and pus around the area where the teeth and gums connect. If the patient experiences gum pain when brushing or chewing, it could be a case of gum disease that needs a deep cleaning.
How it is done
Dental deep cleanings are generally done using ultrasonic appliances and handheld tools. An ultrasonic device has high-frequency vibration to remove plaques. The instrument also releases jets of water to clean debris from the teeth and gum pockets. Handheld instruments are often used to clean residual deposits on the tooth and gums.
If the gums are in a bad state, the dental professional may perform the procedure in quadrants. In the case of gingivitis or mild gum disease, the dental deep cleaning can be completed in one appointment. The dentist may also administer medications, antimicrobial mouth rinses or gel as part of the procedure.
The procedure is usually done with local anesthetics
Depending on the severity of the periodontal infection, the dental deep cleaning procedure may cause slight pain or discomfort to an extent. Fortunately, the dentist will numb the area with topical anesthetic gel or injectable anesthetics to keep the patient comfortable. For patients who have dental anxiety, sleep dentistry is an option to consider.
If the dentist has recommended a dental deep cleaning, there is no need to be scared. If there are outstanding concerns about the procedure, be sure to share them with a dentist.
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